Concepts: What is Mana Whenua?

Concepts in adult LN (2)

What is it?

Mana whenua refers is building relationships and developing of a sense of belonging.

Can we dig a little deeper?

In a literal sense, mana whenua refers to the mana or power that comes from the land. It also refers to importance, beliefs, and belonging.

Traditionally, Mana whenua refers to Māori territorial rights, power associated with possession and occupation of tribal land. Tribal history and legends are based in the lands they have occupied over generations and the land provides the sustenance for the people and to provide hospitality for guests.

How does this help describe a learner-centred teaching environment?

This helps describe a learner-centred teaching environment because in education, mana whenua has come to represent the concept of belonging.

Your education setting, this might be a classroom or it might not be, should be secure and safe, a place where each person is respected and accepted for who they are.

Learners should feel a sense of belonging that they literally and metaphorically have “a place to stand”. This means that relationships (whanaungatanga), connections (whakapapa), and respect for rules and the rights of others (tikanga) are important.

  1. What do you do to create a sense of belonging in your context?
  2. Is there a common set of rules and responsibilities that everyone abides by in your teaching environment?

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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